A FOURTH successive defeat in League One has left Sky Blues boss Tony Mowbray bemoaning his side’s defence following Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat Shrewsbury Town.
Despite taking a fourth minute lead through an unlikely source in defender Aaron Martin and dominating much of the opening period, the visitors went into half-time 2-1 down at the Greenhous Meadow.
Two defensive errors allowed first Sullay Kaikai to round Riece Charles-Cook and fire home into an empty net for the equaliser before Shaun Whalley headed home from a free kick.
Mowbray’s side had their moments in the second half but they could find no way past a stubborn Shrewsbury defence and a seventh defeat in nine matches sees the Sky Blues drop to eighth in the table.
“It feels like a kick in the teeth,” said Mowbray. “I thought there were signs on Tuesday that the side were back to where we’re meant to be.
“Particularly in the first-half, we played really well going forward and created plenty of chances which we should have taken.
“However, the defending just wasn’t up to scratch. I don’t like criticising my players but it wasn’t what we expect and it has to be better.
“I’ve said it all season to be honest, we need to defend directness better. We can’t keep losing goals from simple balls into our box, we’ve got to do better.
“I feel as though the rest of the team functioned pretty well and were really deserving of the victory. We looked pretty fluent, looked a threat but then again, we also need to score more goals.”
Defender Martin reacted quickest to toe poke a rebound home from close range early on after Fleck’s long range shot was beaten away but the hosts equalised soon after when Kaikai did well to take the ball round Charles-Cook before firing into the empty net.
Chris Stokes had a similar chance to Martin but his shot at goal by the penalty spot was saved and Joe Cole was guilty of missing a glorious chance but he shot wide with seemingly acres of space down the right.
Shrewsbury’s second came somewhat against the run of play as Whalley glanced Ian Black’s cross into the City goal to give the hosts a 2-1 lead at the break.
Mowbray’s side pressed for much of the second half to find a breakthrough with Ruben Lameiras, Darius Henderson and James Maddison all being introduced but the visitors could not find a breakthrough.
“I like my team to control games but I’m not going to sit here and say my team deserved to win the game because of the possession, we need to create more chances,” Mowbray added.
“This isn’t the biggest challenge I’ve faced, I’ve been in similar spells like this and it is difficult to turn things around when it feels like it is going against you, which it did on Tuesday. We just have to keep going, it’s as simple as that.”